2016 Ministry Overview

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2016 Ministry Overview
7/6/2016
Glorifying God by working together to establish
reproducing churches focusing on unreached
peoples of the world
Brandon & Michelle Burch
Church planting in France
Who We Are and How We Got Here
I, Brandon, was born and raised in Memphis, TN. I graduated from Craigmont High School in
2000 and then Rhodes College in 2004. I was saved at a youth camp with Bartlett Hills Baptist
church in 1998 when I was 16 and I’ve never been the same. My wife, Michelle, was born in
Texas and her family moved back to Memphis when she was 5. Her dad, John Finley, has
served as pastor at Bartlett Hills Baptist Church for over 15 years. Michelle also graduated
from Craigmont High School in 2000 and then Union University in 2004. She was saved at the
age of 6 in her home with her parents.
Not long after
graduating from college,
Michelle was accepted
into a program to teach
English in French
elementary schools.
After much prayer and
counsel, Michelle
accepted the position,
we were married in
September of 2004 and
a week later we moved
to France! It was during
this year that God
began to reveal to us
His Master plan for our
lives! It turned out that
Michelle was placed in
the least churched
region in France.
Nevertheless, we found a small, evangelical church in our town. On our first Sunday to visit the
church, we met an American missionary named David Lohnes. David and his wife, Kathryn,
had been serving as church planters in France for over 25 years with an organization called
World Team. As our friendship with the Lohnes’s grew, we had the opportunity to see firsthand
what being a church-planter in France really looked like, how new churches were
desperately needed to reach France, and we began to imagine ourselves in that role. Finally,
with much fear and trembling, Michelle and I acknowledged to each other that we felt this was
the very thing God had been preparing for us to do all along.
We returned home committed to take the necessary steps to return to France as church
planters with World Team. During this preparation phase I earned my Masters of Missiology
from Mid-America Baptist Theological, served as Youth Minister at FBC Millington, we sought
out prayer and financial partners, and our family grew from two to five (and now 6)! Finally, in
Oct. 2014, almost 10 years to the day after Michelle and I first left for France, our family
touched down in France again and joined a church-planting team in the same region north of
Paris. Read on for the next "chapter" in our story.
Our Current Project
We arrived in Oct. 2014 to work with our friends David and Kathryn Lohnes in the Oise region
of France about 45 minutes north of Paris. The Lohneses planted a church in the nearby town
of Méru about 10 years ago and we are seeking to work closely with this body of French
believers in planting new churches. We served initially on a two year "mid-term" contract and
thus our objectives for our first term were:

To survive (and thrive!) in our new
culture, establishing a home for our family
and integrating into the community.

To learn, including language and culture
acquisition, acquainting ourselves with
the ins and outs of the French Evangelical
Church, and growing into our new
ministry roles as church planters.

To serve the local church in Méru, not so
much as a minister within the church, but
as resources to help them expand their
reach in the region.

To watch and pray for opportunities to
model and share the gospel, for open
doors and signs of where God may be at
work.
Having completed our mid-term contract, we feel both encouraged that France is not a lost
cause and affirmed that God has been preparing us, as a family, to serve here in this capacity
and at this time. That is why our family is in the States this summer, to raise the additional
monthly support we'll need to return to France by September 2016 as church-planters on a
career basis.
Our Vision
When we return, our ultimate goal will be:

To make gospel-centered disciples

who would form into gospel-centered churches,

that would be equipped to reproduce

and would be passionate about multiplying so that God may be glorified among every
tribe, tongue, and people.
More specifically, this is our vision going forward. As I previously mentioned, the
Evangelical church that was planted by the Lohneses about 10 years ago (and that we are
now a part of) is located in Méru. Méru is the hub of "Les Sablons," the name for our corner of
the region. It is a collection of 22 small cities or villages containing over 36,000 people. Our
church of about 40 people including children is the only Evangelical church that I'm aware of in
the region. But we don't actually live in Méru, and neither does about half of the congregation.
The rest of us live in the surrounding villages.
"Les Sablons"
God placed a burden on our hearts for our neighbors, the other moms and dads, the friends
and teachers our kids see at school each day. For as long as we live here, we want to impact
our immediate community with the gospel. What if each of the families in our church wanted to
do the same thing? What if we can model this approach and equip them to replicate it in their
own communities?
For example, this year we had the opportunity to hold a "backyard bible club" in our home and
a few members from our church came to help or to observe. Soon after they were discussing
the possibility of organizing their own in Méru. In December the church was praying for us as
we held a "Christmas Open House" in order to meet some of our neighbors. A few weeks later,
one woman joined us for her first "prayer walk" as we covered our village with prayer. We
know that the gospel can't spread throughout France and beyond by our efforts alone but we
must multiply ourselves into other disciples that can make disciples. It's been exciting to
see that the church has the same burden to be salt and light to those around them.
The obvious bridge that we have to our community is through our kids. Our backyard bible club
was well-received and we'd like to try a variation that would invite the parents to participate as
well and would meet semi-regularly throughout the year. Another opening that we may explore
is the wide-spread interest in learning English. As the seed of the word falls on "good soil" and
bears fruit we plan to establish new home groups where there will be an early focus on
equipping and releasing new leaders in order to multiply groups. Then there would be potential
to network these new groups, or even churches, with the church in Méru.
Why France?
As one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, France is well-known for many things.
Foreign missions, however, is normally not one of them! So it is reasonable to wonder how our
family came to live and serve in France. First and foremost, we are here because this is where
we feel God has called us to go and we have committed to surrender to His leadership.
Secondly, we serve here because the French are an unreached people group and France
has a dire need for more churches to model and proclaim the gospel. To date, less than 1%
of the French could be classified as Evangelical Christians.
Allow me to try to further illustrate the need in France. You may have never heard of the Engel
scale (below) but you are probably familiar with the concept. It is not all inclusive, and
many have since modified the scale to also include a person's level of receptivity to the gospel
(how open or closed they
might be), but it is useful
in explaining the fact that
most do not convert to
Christianity in one fell
swoop, but rather pass
through several
"stages." Recent
research shows that, on
average, there is a period
of 2 years between when
a person was first
witnessed to and when
that person then decided
to surrender his/her life to
Christ. Additionally, some
have concluded that a
person will have at least
5 meaningful encounters
with the gospel before
making a decision. The
point is this: person A
might be much further
away from committing
their life to Christ than
person B, and that
making disciples normally
doesn't happen
instantaneously but takes
place over a course of
time and often involves
multiple people.
So what if that person lives in France, and like most of the French, have never opened a
Bible? And how long would it take for that person to have 5 meaningful encounters with the
gospel in a country that is less than 1% evangelical? For how many of my neighbors am I the
only Christian that they know? For how many will I be the only "Jesus" they ever meet? This is
a very real picture for so many of the French. This is why we have such a burden to make
disciples and see new churches started in France. We're joining the effort among all the
Evangelicals across France to reach 1 church per every 10,000 in pop. (currently at 1 per
30,000 people nationwide) and we would be honored to have your help.
World Team
How to Get Involved
I love the image of the body of Christ. It serves as a humble reminder that while I have certain
gifts and a role to play in the body, I can't do it alone! I need the other parts of the body, with
Christ at the head. We were designed to complement one another, to work together in order to
build up the church locally and globally. This is no less true when considering missionaries. I
know our family would not have made it this far with our team of pray-ers, givers, and
encourag-ers, and it's our team that keeps us going. But don't worry! We still have room for
YOU on our team!
*While each of these roles are vital to our success, I need to emphasize that our mostpressing need at this moment is for financial partners. Our 2 year, mid-term contract is
coming to an end but we believe God still has work for us to do in France. We are returning to
the U.S. this summer of 2016 to raise the remaining amount of monthly/yearly financial support
that we'll need to return to France and serve on a career basis. However, we will only have
until September 2016 before we have to decide where our kids will enroll in school and we will
not be released to return to France until we have raise 100% of our monthly/yearly
financial need. So I will start there...
1. Givers
Our prayer is not that the Lord would simply lead us to people of "means" with the ability to
write a check each month. Our heart's desire is that God would direct us to men and
women who share our passion to see disciples made of every nation, who pray to the "Lord
of the harvest" to send forth workers and who are delighted to give sacrificially in order to
facilitate their sending. We're praying for true partners in the task!
We currently have 70 such partners whose gifts have allowed us to serve our first term of 2
years in France. We are now seeking an additional 50 partners to help us raise the
almost $5,000 per month we need to return to France and serve our next 3 year
term (you can find suggested amounts on the image on the following page).
If you want to find out more, you can start by checking out the various giving options by
clicking https://us.worldteam.org/give/index . The details at that point are up to you, but we
do ask that you be ready to commit to giving until at least the completion of our next 3 year
term. Would you pray about being one of our 50?
2. Pray-ers
I truly believe that even being 100% funded would
not be enough to keep us on the field, much less
allow us to make any gospel impact in France,
without having our prayer team calling on the Lord
on our behalf. Each month I try and send out by
email a prayer calendar to our prayer team
containing specific events and requests for that
month. If you would like to receive this monthly
prayer calendar, simply return to the top of this
page and enter your email into the box pictured on
the left.
If you are on Facebook, another great way to stay
informed is to join our private group, "Make
Known-France." So far, this have proven to be our
most convenient and most discreet way to provide
updates and prayers needs as they arise.
Lastly, we would be honored to be added to your
church's or small group's prayer list!
3. Encourage-rs
Obviously encouragement can come in many forms but I think encouragement goes even
beyond the acts of giving and praying. Feelings of loneliness, frustration, and defeat are not
uncommon on the mission field where one is often disconnected from other believers. A
kind note, email, birthday cards and care-packages can go a long way in lifting one's spirit
at just the right moment.
Also, can you encourage others to get involved? Can you be our spokesman or
spokeswoman to others that might like to join our team. The more the merrier!
Please consider partnering with us!
Contact Us!
Summer 2016 Contact Info
Brandon and Michelle Burch
7421 Odom Way #202
Cordova, TN 38016
[email protected]
[email protected]
Brandon: 901-550-7134
Michelle: 901-550-7158
http://michelleburch.blogspot.com
Send gifts and correspondence to:
World Team
1431 Stuckert Road
Warrington, PA 18976
Phone # (800) 967-7109, ask for Donor Services
E-mail Address: [email protected]
Web Site: www.us.worldteam.org
World Team strives to glorify God by recognizing His passion for people and embracing
it. Our singular focus is on church planting among the unreached peoples of the world.
World Team currently has 420 missionaries serving among 59 people groups around the
world.
A Word from Local Pastors
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I wanted to take a few moments to share a little bit about some very good friends of mine in
ministry, Brandon and Michelle Burch. I had the privilege as Brandon’s youth pastor of seeing Brandon
accept Christ as his personal Lord and Savior and begin a relationship with Jesus when he was a young
teenager in high school. Ever since that day it has been a joy to watch Brandon serve the Lord and
follow his calling wherever God has leads. Shortly after becoming a Christian, Brandon began to date
and eventually marry Michelle Burch, who also was a very godly girl and influence at our home church,
Raleigh Baptist Church in Memphis, TN (now Bartlett Hills Baptist Church).
The Lord has allowed Brandon to serve in various capacities in ministry, as he has worked as a
Recreation Ministry Assistant, Worship Leader, and Student Pastor at different Southern Baptist
churches. Brandon has also led worship for World Changers, which is a mission’s organization formerly
of the North American Mission Board. Throughout all of this, the Lord has used different stops and
experiences along the way to mold Brandon and Michelle to the international mission field to reach
the lost people of France. Michelle had the opportunity in college at Union University to study and
major in French, while Brandon completed his master’s degree from Mid-America Theological
Seminary in Missiology. Early on in marriage, Michelle’s studies at Union brought them to France for an
internship. Little did they know that this experience would place a desire and calling upon their life to
one day return to France to reach a lost generation.
With that being said, the time has come for Brandon and Michelle (and three kids) to prepare
to leave their home in Memphis, Tennessee to move to France and begin the ministry of planting
churches and reaching the lost with the gospel. After much time spent in prayer, God has led the
Burch’s to partner with a mission’s organization known as World Team, which is a Bible-believing
organization based out of Warrington, Pennsylvania (www.us.worldteam.org). World Team has
missionaries throughout the world and has established itself in many Southern Baptist Churches, often
times crossing paths or connecting with many International Mission Board missionaries along the way.
Please prayerfully consider partnering with the Burch’s in raising support for this missionary endeavor
to fulfill the Great Commission in Matthew 28: 18-20, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations…”.
Through Christ!
Drew Murphy, Pastor
Fayette Baptist Church
www.fayettebaptist.com
John 15:13
Bartlett Hills Baptist Church
4641 Ellendale Road
Bartlett, Tennessee 38135
Bartlett Hills Baptist Church
July 6, 2016
Recommendation for Brandon and Michelle Burch:
I want to wholeheartedly endorse Brandon and Michelle Burch as future missionaries to
France. I confess up front that I am biased. Michelle is my daughter (which makes Brandon my
son-in-law). Obviously, I know them well. I know about their heart for missions and their calling
to France.
I know how they have worked hard to prepare themselves for such a huge undertaking.
Brandon has earned his Master’s degree from Mid-America Seminary. Michelle was a French
major in college at Union University. Several years ago, they lived in France for nine months
(Michelle taught English to French students). They felt God’s call to go back someday and help
establish churches.
They are working with a mission organization called World Team. World Team has
established churches and a growing ministry in France. Currently, the IMB is not focused on
reaching the indigenous French people. The Burch’s must raise all of their own support for the
work. If God leads you, I would invite you (or your church) to join me in supporting them as they
seek to plant churches in a country with very few evangelical churches. France has so much
Christian history and beautiful sanctuaries, yet now the nation is cold and dark to the message of
Christ. I am praying that in God’s timing, they will move to France to share the gospel and make
disciples.
Sincerely,
Dr. John Finley, Pastor
Bartlett Hills Baptist Church –
the North Bartlett Community Church
A Word from IMB Missionaries in France
K EITH G RIMAUD
82 Route de l’Étang la Ville, 78750 Mareil Marly, France
011.33.183.581.329  [email protected]
US contact: 502-292-8283
Mareil Marly, le 10 avril 2012
To whom it may concern:
My wife, Deborah, and I are missionaries with the International Mission Board (IMB), the mission
sending agency of the Southern Baptist Convention, serving in France since 2003. For nearly the entire
time that we have been in France, we have had the pleasure of working alongside different World Team
missionaries who are also serving in France. We count several among them as personal friends, and we
consider all of them as co-labors in the work of proclaiming the Gospel and growing the kingdom.
Since 2004, we have participated in an association of churches in our department (much like a county in
the States) where World Team is well represented by personnel who serve in leadership, pastoring and
planting churches. I cannot begin to express how much this association and our World Team colleagues
have provided encouragement and support beyond what we receive through our various Southern
Baptist connections.
In a time when the IMB has shifted its strategy in France to focus more on the immigrant population, we
are grateful that other agencies like World Team are still encouraging prospective missionaries to
consider working among the indigenous French. There is still much work to be done. If you are a
Southern Baptist who is already giving to the Co-operative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas
Offering for missions, “Thank you!!” And, thank you for considering giving above and beyond your
current amount to support those who either already are our World Team colleagues, or who soon will be.
Based on my experience, I would recommend World Team mission organization without reservation.
In His service,
Keith Grimaud
IMB Team Strategy Leader
Paris, France
A Word from World Team Personnel
World Team
France
Western Europe is a post-Christian continent and secularism is on the rise. In France, for example,
there are only about 480,000 evangelical Christians representing only 0.08% of the population.
Churches are small, few in number and have very little resources. There is a pressing need for
missionaries in Europe. The Burch’s have already lived in France and are convinced that God is calling
them to minister with us in this country. We need them desperately and are praying that they will join
our team as soon as possible. I want to encourage you to do what you can to help the Burch’s get to
France as soon as possible. Will you consider becoming a part of their support team? Can you support
them financially or commit to praying for them faithfully, or both. We need them soon!
Thank you,
Detlef Gwinner
World Team Europe Area Director
World Team 1431 Stuckert Road Warrington, PA 18976
Phone:
215-491-4900
E-mail: [email protected] Web Site:
www.worldteam.org
GLORIFYING GOD BY WORKING TOGETHER TO ESTABLISH REPRODUCING CHURCHES FOCUSING ON UNREACHED PEOPLES OF THE WORLD
Dear Friends,
In David Broussard's recent article entitled, "What Nobody is Saying about France" a very
encouraging report was written about evangelicalism in France:
What is certain is that the evangelical church is firing on all cylinders. And, it’s
no exaggeration to say that, compared with the activity just 10 years ago,
France is becoming a hotbed of ecclesiastic activity. While this “reformation” of
public perception is in no way persuading millions of French people to accept
Christ (34 percent of the country is still atheist), we see in France today a real
shift in the spiritual “tectonic plates” of the country. Something has changed. As
a French pastor returning from Jordan told me in an interview last year, “This is
not the France that I left five years ago.”
No, this certainly isn't the same France that in 2004 wrote a scathing report in Nouvel
Observateur feeling threatened by evangelicals. The climate is changing and God is
working in a powerful way. With this awakening to spiritual matters the need for more
workers is evidenced. The evangelical population in France is less than one percent and
can't tackle this job alone. People like Michelle and Brandon Burch, with a strong spiritual
background and ministerial experience and education are needed in France.
World Team France, also commonly known as France V.I.E. (vie means "life" and is also
our acronym for Vision to Implant Eglises (churches), has been working with the National
Committee of Evangelicals in France or the CNEF. The CNEF's desire is to show a
unified front of evangelicals to France and it is composed of many denominations such as
Baptists, Brethren, and Independent churches.
When the Burch family arrives in France they will be surrounded by experienced
missionaries (some who have been working here for over 25 years). They will have the
advantage of being surrounded by a team of internationals as our team is composed of
Americans, French, Germans and a Swiss.
We encourage you to seriously consider the need for this couple to arrive in France so that
there will be workers for the French harvest.
Sincerely,
Jerry Moyer
France Field Director for World Team Global
3 avenue du Manet - 78180 Montigny Le Bretonneux
+33 1 30 44 36 35 - [email protected]
David Lohnes
World Team, France
I want to introduce you to Brandon and Michelle Burch and invite you to considering partnering with
them as they prepare to go to France as missionaries. We are excited by their eagerness to respond to
God's call on their lives. Brandon and Michelle are from Memphis and it is our hope and prayer that
God will raise up an "army" of faithful men and women from their home town who will pray for them
faithfully and commit to supporting them financially.
My wife and I have been church planters in France with World Team for over 30 years. It was in France
in 2004 that we first met Brandon and Michelle. We were impressed with this couple; their faith in God,
their ability to adapt to the culture and to overcome difficult circumstances. It was their willingness to
get involved in our ministry, in spite of obvious obstacles like the language that prompted us to invite
them to join us fulltime in the ministry here.
France has been called "the forgotten mission field". It is one of the most spiritually needy countries in
Western Europe. Only 0.08% of the population have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and in the
area where we are presently working there is one small evangelical church for every 80,000 people. For
all practical purposes it is an unreached people group. We desperately need this family to come join us
as soon as possible! We believe in them and are convinced that God has called them and is leading them
to France.
Jesus said to "pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send forth workers into His harvest field. He said that
the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. This is so true of France. Brandon and Michelle and
their family have been called. The Lord of the harvest is sending them to France and in obedience they
are preparing to go. I hope you will pray and consider how you can partner with them in accomplishing
God's Kingdom work in this needy country. You can be personally involved in changing the landscape
of eternity...one person at a time.
Serving Him together,
David Lohnes
Church planter in France since 1981

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